DEPARTMENTS

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

RIP Carl Macek

I just learned that Carl Macek passed away April 17, 2010.

To many he may be an obscure if not unknown figure in the big geeky universe, but for many folks, like myself he was the one, more than anyone else, who opened our eyes to the world of anime. With his work on Robotech, he brought the power and majesty of anime into our homes and then continued to do so with a series of productions such as Akira and Vampire Hunter D.

I know that for me, Carl MAcek was the one who took my already existing love of anime and turned it into something enjoyed and known to many others. I remember being turned onto Robotech in my highschool days by my cousin over a summer vacation at our grandfather's and being upset that only he, who lived in California, could watch this awesome show. When it came to my area, I remember franticly dominating the family VCR making sure that I could capture every episode of Robotech which annoyingly enough happen to air after I had already left for school. I held onto those grainy video taped recording into my mid-20s when they were finally lost in a move.

There is no doubt in my mind that today's anime craze is the product of the work he started back in the 80's. Though he did not create the shows that he brought to America, it was his vision and hard work that brought them to us in a fashion that did not require skulking around dark specialty shops and grainy 5th generation video copies. The professional and often controversial productions of the anime he brought to us with his company Harmony Gold were surely the big, shiny red button that set the whole anime craze into hyperspeed. He blazed the trail for the dozens of other companies that began to import anime in professionally subbed or dubbed versions to the point that now days where the idea of an American release of anime is nearly a given not the exception.

To an anime fan, this is as sad a thing as the passing of Gary Gygax was for gamers.

I know I will be taking a moment to send my thoughts out to his family and to spend a little time reflecting on what he gave me.

For more on Carl and his work, here is a link to the Robotech news site -

Thank you,

-Eli


7 comments:

  1. Sad to hear, I am surprised this news was not out there on the various boards. I too was a fan of Robotech in the 80's and know Macek's name well. Vampire Hunter D is also favorite of mine.

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  2. I am surprised that more people do not know the name either. I told several of my friends who I know are familiar with his work, but the name did not ring a bell.

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  3. I own most of the Robotech Saga on DVD. I loved that series. It is responsible for so many things good and animation-y.

    It is also the reason I only like the 'unssen' versions of the Battlemechs.

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  4. Ok since I have at least two Robotech fans here, I will put this forth here. I too own the Robotech series on DVD and only a couple of weeks ago finished re-watching the complete series. When I was younger Macross was the best, with Southern Cross in second, and Invid Invasion third. After re-watching I still think Macross is good, but Invid Invasion really took me as the best of the stories, while Southern Cross fell short. I am still trying to figure out why this is. So perhaps in tribute to Carl Macek we can debate all of the glory.

    Devon

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  5. Sorry to see him go.

    No love lost for Harmony Gold. They are killing the Mechwarrior5 game I want so bad because of the "unseen" issue

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  6. I would say that Macross is a good story, but there is a lot more of the melodrama going on in that story than in Invid Invasion. As a kid it likely appealed more due to the more action adventure pace whereas Invid Invasion is a bit more plodding, being a survival story more so than a war story.

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  7. Oh man, that's sad news. I loved Robotech as a kid--I still have my Invid invader toy! RIP Mr. Macek.

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